Check out whether cupping is your cup of tea or not. Learn what it is and what it does!
People may be hearing more about cupping therapy over the last couple of years. This form of holistic therapy has been around in some variation since approximately 3,000 BC as a form of alternative medicine. Within the oldest medical textbook available, cupping was first described Egyptians using this method in the year 1500 BC. By 400 BC, cupping was used for internal disease and continued to grow throughout Asia and Europe. Now, it is becoming part of an alternative type of physical therapy, particularly for athletes all over the world.
You may see unusual circular raised bruises on people and wonder what they are. Most likely, these individuals are experiencing cupping therapy. Cupping therapy may not have an abundance of medical studies backing the benefits people receive, but anecdotal testimony supports safe and efficient results.
Cupping therapy is a result of individual cups placed in a targeted area, and with created suction, the skin and muscle are pulled up into the cup for up to 15 minutes increasing blood flow into the targeted area.
Types of Cupping Techniques
There are a couple of different techniques used for cupping. Sometimes cupping can be integrated with acupuncture as well. The most common cupping in North America is called dry cupping and uses heat. Wet cupping is more commonly utilized in the Middle East and requires a form of bloodletting.
Benefits of Cupping Therapy
1. Reduce Inflammation. Those who suffer from muscle spasms, back pain, joint pain, or muscle stiffness may benefit from cupping. By localizing areas of inflammation, this alternative practice has been said to help break up adhesions, and stimulate blood flow into areas of inflammation. Athletes who use this form of alternative therapy affirm reduced inflammation, faster healing, and a decrease of pain within affected areas.
2. Boost Immunity. The suction cupping creates with the soft tissue can stimulate the lymphatic system to cleanse out toxins by increasing blood flow and fluid throughout the body. Some people claim a common cold, flu, allergies and respiratory infections have healed at a quicker rate with the use of cupping.
3. Improved Relaxation. Cupping can mimic the effects of a deep massage. When people are in a high state of stress on a daily basis, cupping can enable a person just to relax and feel less anxiety. Cupping claims to relax the central nervous system and lower stress responses. A regular practice of cupping may decrease stress-related high blood pressure. All in all, improved body relaxation.
Even though cupping therapy has been around for thousands of years, cupping therapy is not for everyone. It is geared primarily for individuals who have few health risks. Those who bruise easily or pregnant should consult a physician before considering this form of alternative treatment. Make sure to find a licensed therapist experienced in cupping if you give this a try. Someone trained in this field will help you decide on the best cupping technique for your particular needs.
Side effects such as bruising, broken capillaries, and headache may occur.